Period & Style
Asher Brown Durand, 1796--1886
Landscape-Composition: In the Catskills
Size: 30 in. x 42 1/4 in. (76.2 cm x 107.3 cm)
Museum purchase with funds provided by the Gerald and Inez Grant Parker Foundation, 1974:72
Asher B. Durand is best known today for his enduring images of the American landscape, especially of the Hudson River Valley, the Catskills, and the Adirondack Mountains in New York. A founding member of the National Academy of Design, he studied engraving before devoting himself to landscape painting and was one of the primary painters of the Hudson River School.
Durand's canvases reflect the great passion and unrelenting respect he possessed for the natural environment. In the detailed charcoal study for Landscape-Composition: In the Catskills, which he probably made on site, Durand included the small figural forms in the foreground; in this, the final painting of the subject, these tiny figures, juxtaposed with the immensity of the mountains and the breadth of the land before them, emphasize the awe-inspiring presence of the land itself.